Altice opens Israel innovation center

Tal Golstein, Michel Combes Photo: Gad Perez

Michel Combes, CEO of Altice, Hot's parent company, said low mobile prices made it difficult to invest in Israel.

Hot Telecommunication Systems Ltd. (TASE: HOT.B1) will open a new innovation center in Israel that will work with startups to promote innovation in the group, and to take advantage of existing knowledge in Israel for the entire group. "On the one hand, we will obtain access to new technologies, while on the other, the startups will be able to obtain access to an international communications group," said Michel Combes, CEO of Altice, Hot Telecommunication's parent company, at a special press conference. He added, "Hot is a completely new company today, after just 18 months of change. Hot has undergone a real revolution here, thanks to the leadership of its new management, headed by Tal Granot Goldstein."

Combes is visiting Israel at the head of all of the group's senior management for a series of discussions. He said that the group had achieved good results in the recent quarter, with every company in every country improving individually. He added that what Hot's new management had done was impressive, and he intended to study and assimilate what the whole group here had achieved,

"The change in service at HOT is something that we'll take to the whole group, especially the drop in churn. The second thing is the change in content. HOT's original content is something we plan to study and export to the entire group. The rich content, series, dramas, etc. is something that we have already taken to the group, but this is only the beginning. Granot Goldstein is one of our most senior managers, and we're learning from her," Combes declared. "I'm fairly sure that Tal will continue changing Hot and making it the best communications and content company in Israel."

Combes also said, "Ownership of content has become critical. A large proportion of our content is nonlinear; it goes through VOD, and we want to upgrade the content, so that all of it goes through the Internet. We want the network here to be the best in the world. In Israel, Hot has the best coverage of any of our companies anywhere in the world."

Commenting on investments and innovation, Combes said, "Our goal is to provide 1 gigabyte on every network, including in Israel. Our investment in the network is the highest in terms of proportion of revenue. We're investing in content, a cellular network, and also the physical network, and we'll go on investing in order to prepare it for the upgrading to 1 gigabyte, but this will be done gradually."

The Altice CEO also spoke about the Israeli cellular market, saying, "The cellular prices in Israel are among the lowest in the world. When all the cellular companies invest in 5G, however - and we want to be a startup nation - we won't be able to invest what is needed to accomplish this. We tried merging with Golan Telecom - it didn't work, but it's clear to me that investments will shrink because of the structure of competition in the market.

"Too much competition will kill investments. In many countries, they have already started investing in 5G, and planning for it. The customers need a competitive price, and that's important, but just as we want to see they get a 1 gigabyte speed on the stationary network, we also want them to get 1 gigabyte on the cellular network, and that requires large-scale investments. There needs to be a balance between what is good for the consumer, the economy, and the investors."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 13, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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Tal Golstein, Michel Combes Photo: Gad Perez
Tal Golstein, Michel Combes Photo: Gad Perez
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